Firefighters come to aid of 2 cats in Roxbury fire

Firefighter Frank Rogier used an oxygen mask to resuscitate one of the cats.
Boston Fire department
Firefighter Frank Rogier used an oxygen mask to resuscitate one of the cats.

Along with assisting two victims of a fire in Roxbury Tuesday night, firefighters also helped out two cats that were overcome by smoke, providing them with oxygen masks, authorities said.

The two-alarm blaze at 23 Greenville St. that sent two people to the hospital also incapacitated the cats, who were found lying on the floor of the home by firefighters while they battled the fire, said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

“Pets, they’re so important to people,” MacDonald said. “If you can help them live, you do it.”


The cats had been left behind and were overcome by smoke. They were having trouble breathing, so the firefighters used oxygen masks -- one of which was specifically designed for pets -- to resuscitate them, MacDonald said.

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The pet masks were charitably donated about three or four years ago, MacDonald said, and have been used to help a number of animals. The masks are longer than human oxygen masks, designed to fit over the animal’s snout. MacDonald said the department does not use the masks too often, but does “from time to time.”

Boston Fire Department
Firefighter Tom Sylvester assisted one of the cats.

“You could see a marked improvement in them, basically coming around,” MacDonald said. “They were reacting positively to the oxygen.”

Later, the cats were picked up by Boston Animal Control, MacDonald said. When they left, the cats were breathing better.

The cats’ current conditions were unclear. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


A resident suffered burns in the blaze and was hospitalized on Wednesday, and a firefighter suffered a knee injury. Neither of the injuries were considered life-threatening, MacDonald said.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at